Tie Fighter – A Short Fan Film

tie_fighter_poster_by_mightyotakingWhat if there was an Empire-focussed short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic 80s anime that’s all but vanished from Japan nowadays? Artist Paul Johnson has the answer after the jump.



As you probably remember over a year ago we showed you a teaser of this awesome looking fan film. Drawn and animated by Paul Johnson over 4 years’ worth of weekends, with music by the living guitar solo Zak Rahman and sound design by up and coming audio technician Joseph Leyva, now the short film has been finally released. Check it out (via youtube):


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Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.

Born on April 24, 1980.

Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

45 thoughts on “Tie Fighter – A Short Fan Film

  • March 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Now, if this were to become a television series, I believe it would kick Rebels to the curb. Unique animation that emphasizes the detail we’re accustomed to in Star Wars, intense action sequences that draw you in and portrayed from a point of view we’re not used to seeing as Star Wars fans (no Jedi!).

    • March 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      It’d be great if Disney commits to making something like this for the age 13+ (and adult) fans. It doesn’t need to be TV-MA, but definitely something that appeals to the more mature fans. The Star Wars universe is diverse and complex enough to accommodate that easily.

      • March 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        I agree. It’d be great to see a series in which the main characters have absolutely no knowledge of the force. It’s a “hoaky religion” to them.

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Awesome. Star War + Robotech!

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Absolutely awesome. The attention to details from the games and EU is really good. Seeing tugs, the TIE Fighter briefing room, and the cockpit layouts was total nerd heaven. I salute the artist and his dedication to the project. I wish we could get more, but this by itself is a masterpiece enough. I do wish it had some different music, but that is a minor quibble.

    I like Rebels but I hope there is more Star Wars animation along this vein, too.

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm


  • March 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I just wish we could get a blu-ray copy.

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm


  • March 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    That’s pretty cool. I’m not an anime fan by any means. So, for me, I personally wouldn’t want to see this as a permanent fixture. But its a cool execution of the Star Wars universe done in anime.

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I will sadly live and die and never do anything as cool as this.

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Wouldn’t mind if this is an “average” round in the next Battlefront. 😉

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I loved the Interdictor cruiser

  • March 25, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    “Yam danna scamp danna yam dananna scamp.” the sweet and soothing sound of an imperial probe droid ahhhhhhhh…

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    That thing’s been around forever, people are just discovering it now?

    • March 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      The full short film was just released on youtube. Before it was just clips.

    • March 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      not in the 7min version that has been uploaded just yesterday

    • March 26, 2015 at 3:49 am

      It wasn’t finished until now. The animation is superior as well.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Animation is amazing.
    All tie (fighter, interceptor, bomber) are perfect.
    Nice point see pilots through their helmets.

    But music rest lots of points. It doesn’t fit. Completly useless.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve seen parts of this before, but never the full 7 minute thing. Very nice. But after a while the chase cam and invisible helmet gimmicks get a little old.

    Actually, the chase cam gives me flashbacks to the game – jeez 20 years ago? With the same accompanying sense of vertigo.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve seen better ones to be honest. Its cool, but there are better ones out there.

    This is old news too.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    This is awesome work! I love the animation! I think this would make a fantastic series and I know many would agree. I love the fact that its focused from the empire’s perspective and brings life to the characters behind the helmets. You think of them more as people instead of just generic imperial soldiers/pilots. Disney, if your listening, and I’m sure you are, you need to hire this guy.

  • March 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Like some other posters, I’ve never been much of an anime fan, but this is fantastic! Paul did a great job of translating that classic old TIE Fighter game into a short animated film. And IMHO, the visual style fits very nicely.

    As good as Zak’s music is, though (and he’s an ace on that guitar!) I just didn’t feel like the music fit the film all that well. But that’s more a personal thing on my part.

    All in all, a VERY cool little film!

  • March 25, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Music is the only problem I have with this.

    • March 26, 2015 at 4:22 am

      It ruined it for me actually 🙁

  • March 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    What a short! 🙂

    Reminds me of how deep down, we love the bad guys too hehe

  • March 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Wow, who would’ve thought a Star Wars cartoon could be cool without lightsabers, laser slingshots, impractical clothing accessories that do nothing but add some “flare” to the character’s costume, no jedi whatsoever and from the perspective of imperial soldiers?

    This is what fans have been asking for! Enough with the Jedi already!

  • March 25, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Fantastic. Why have we never had a Star Wars cartoon in this style of animation?! Disney better get on this straight away and hire these people! It just needs traditional Star Wars music cos that rock is awful (though I know it’s in keeping with the animation style etc) and this would be perfect!

    Genuinely, this needs to become a thing. Kinda cool seeing from the bad guy’s point of view but I’d love something straddling both sides of the story with this art style. Could be immense! Over a million views in less than a day, Disney needs to get onto this immediately.

  • March 25, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Definitely feels like an Elsewords/out of canon type thing if Disney or Marvel can get involved. There are some Marvel characters with anime series that got the green light. I don’t see why Disney can’t allow Star Wars to have the same treatment.

    • March 25, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      I think this looks a lot more like classic early 90’s anime than the style Elseword is animated in… That’s one thing I REALLY enjoy about it.

      • March 26, 2015 at 4:06 am

        Meant Elseworlds as in alt. universe stuff DC Comics did in the past apart from its main line continuity. Why its considered ‘out of cannon’.

        • March 26, 2015 at 4:02 pm

          Ah, my apologies. I misunderstood.

  • March 26, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Nice work….I agree could be a series for teens and adults! Also the talked about and scripts written live action tv show!

  • March 26, 2015 at 12:58 am


  • March 26, 2015 at 1:05 am

    That just totally took me back to my youth. I love that animie style of animation. I see a lot folks not happy with the music. Personally I thought it was great. Fits well with the whole style of the short. Disney really need to get in on this action. Get this dude to do a full season with scripts and story arcs and plenty bad ass sequences like this.

  • March 26, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Actually its from the 80’s you can see it in Robotech’s saga, and its awesome see star wars this way

  • March 26, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Holy shit! That was awesome beyond description! BRAVO! BRAVO!!

  • March 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Blew my mind. More, more, more!

  • March 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    This cartoon perfectly captures the look and feel of Star Wars, all it was missing was the music. This needs more attention. I just hope someone from Disney watches this and realizes how to do Star Wars right.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm


  • March 26, 2015 at 10:43 pm


    The fans are literally crying out for something like THIS! Sharp, effective, uncompromising vision and superb quality. These few seconds gave me better Star Wars impression than both Rebels and new Marvel comics combined!

    • March 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • March 26, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Baron Soontir Fel in his TIE Intercepter and the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing kicking butt, way awesome!!

  • March 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Cool, if you told me before that Star Wars could work in the anime style, I would say “i don’t believe you”.
    Video exceeded my expectations.
    I never thought seeing an Imperial bomber chick killing a bunch of Rebels would make me say “you go girl!” but it did.
    The music was a miss, I remember some old movie-making proverb: – a total lack of music is better than bad music.
    I would have personally preferred they just used the music of spaceships flyin’ and left the guitar shredding to another video, but that’s really splitting hairs.
    Also having the people muted was a smart move. Yeah, pretty cool, good animation.

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